Podcast: What happens in your brain when you ruminate

Tune up with Mike and Mani: Thinking and Feeling Good

In this episode, Dr. Pavuluri talks with Mike about rumination, which she terms “hamster wheel thinking.” It’s a repetitive self-critical thought process that is also known as toxic brooding. 

Program note regarding discussion that begins at 12:20 and ends at  13:00:

The amygdala has a strong connection with the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) central to rumination–as opposed to weaker connectivity between the amygdala and the thinking part of the brain, i.e., dorsolateral prefrontal cortex activity (DLPFC). So the amygdala hijacks the cognitive resources when it is overactive in the ruminators as a trait marker. Connectivity between the DLPFC and MPFC is strong in unaffected individuals, but is impaired in ruminators, with a bias towards stronger connectivity between feeling parts of the brain (MPFC and amygdala). 

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